World Youth Skills Day

The United Nations General Assembly has nominated today as World Youth Skills Day to raise awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development. 

In Australia we share the problem of unacceptably high youth unemployment with many other nations but all the Abbott Government has done is to attack the programs that provided training and pathways to employment for our young people. 

World Youth Skills Day reminds us of the importance of investing in skilling Australians for the jobs of the future, in particular our young people.  To date, the Abbott Government has proceeded to cut over $2 billion from the skills portfolio, including over $1 billion in funding for apprentices and trainees. 

The global My World 2015 survey noted that young people up to the age of 30 across all regions and education levels rated education as their number one priority, with better job opportunities being the third priority. 

UNESCO and UNEVOC have reported that: 

  • youth represent 25 per cent of the total working age population but make up 40 per cent of the unemployed (ILO, FAO, 2013).

  • almost 74 million young people (aged 15 to 24) were looking for work in 2014 (ILO, 2015).

  • two thirds of youth in developing economies are without work, not studying, or engaged in irregular or informal employment (UNDP, 2014).

  • never before have there been so many young people on the planet: 1.8 billion people are aged 10 to 24 (UNFPA, 2014).

  • the working-age population is poised to more than double in the least-developed countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2050 (UNFPA, 2014).

the youth unemployment situation is common to all regions in the world and is happening despite improvements in average educational attainment (ILO, 2015). 

The Abbott Government needs to put forward policies and plans to help skill and upskill our workers so that they can meet the needs for workplaces of the future. We must be investing in the skills of our young people so that their skills meet the needs of the global marketplace they will seek to enter.